Texas Beats Iowa State 37-14 in Big 12 Conference Opener

No. 17/17 Texas (4-0, 1-0 Big 12) opened up a 34-0 halftime lead and cruised to a 37-14 victory over Iowa State (3-1, 0-1 Big 12) Saturday evening in the Big 12 Conference opener for both teams at ISU’s Jack Trice Stadium.

Texas forced three first quarter turnovers for the second time in as many games, and UT produced another impressive all-around showing on offense, as the Horns effectively put the game away in the first half. Texas added a blocked punt that was returned for a touchdown, its first since the 2009 season against Missouri.

Quarterbacks David Ash and Case McCoy each connected with seven passes on 12 attempts. Ash threw for 145 yards and two touchdowns, while McCoy threw for 110 yards. Wide receiver Jaxon Shipley caught six passes for 141 yards and a touchdown, while wide receiver Mike Davis caught three passes for 72 yards and a touchdown. Running back Malcolm Brown carried 15 times for 72 yards, and running back Foswhitt Whittaker carried seven times for 50 yards and a touchdown.

Safety Blake Gideon and linebacker Emmanuel Acho led the Longhorns with eight tackles and one sack, apiece. Gideon also picked off a pass, and Acho posted an additional tackle-for-loss. Linebacker Steve Edmond added six tackles, including one for a loss, and safety Kenny Vaccaro recorded four tackles and one sack.

Texas capitalized upon an Iowa State miscue and got on the board early in the first quarter. Texas defensive end Alex Okafor recovered a botched handoff from Iowa State quarterback Steele Jantz to running back James White at the Cyclones’ 29-yard line. On second and 15 from the ISU 34, Ash found tight end D.J. Grant for 19 yards down the left sideline. Justin Tucker connected on a 33-yard field goal to give UT a 3-0 lead with 7:30 remaining in the quarter.

On the ensuing kickoff, UT cornerback Quandre Diggs stripped the ball from Iowa State’s Josh Lenz, and linebacker Tevin Jackson recovered at the Iowa State 29. On third and three from the ISU 22, Ash dumped a shovel pass to Whittaker for six yards and a Texas first down. Whittaker took a direct snap on the next play and scampered 16 yards into the end zone, as Texas assumed a 10-0 lead with 5:35 left in the quarter.

On the next Iowa State drive, UT’s Gideon picked off Iowa State’s Jantz at the UT 40 and returned the ball 43 yards to the Cyclones’ 17-yard line. Tucker connected on a 35-yard field goal with 3:23 left in the quarter to put the Horns up, 13-0.

Iowa State looked to swing the momentum in its favor early in the second quarter, but a missed field goal and a key personal foul penalty helped Texas to pull away. Iowa State drove 70 yards to set up a field goal attempt, but the Cyclones’ Zach Guyer failed to connect from 29 yards.

On the ensuing drive, UT was unable to convert on third and 12 from its 37, but shortly after the play, the Cyclones’ Leonard Johnson was flagged for a personal foul that kept the Texas drive alive. The Horns made the Cyclones pay on the next play, as Ash found Davis down the middle for a 48-yard touchdown that pushed the Texas lead to 20-0 with 10:18 left in the quarter.

The Texas defense stopped Iowa State on its next two drives before a pair of freshman defensive backs on the UT special teams unit produced a touchdown. Defensive back Mykkele Thompson blocked a punt from Iowa State’s Kirby Van Der Kamp, and the ball fell into the waiting hands of DB Josh Turner, who sprinted 34 yards into the end zone to give the Horns a 27-0 lead with 4:30 remaining in the quarter.

Texas struck moments later on a play that saw Whittaker, Shipley and Ash with their hands on the ball. Whittaker took the snap in the shotgun and handed to Shipley, who streaked past Whittaker toward the left sideline. Shipley pitched to Ash, who had lined up at wide receiver, and darted down the left sideline, where he eluded Iowa State’s Jacques Washington and hauled in a 40-yard touchdown pass from Ash that staked Texas to a 34-0 lead with 1:17 remaining in the half.

The Longhorns’ defense stood tall once more and kept the Cyclones off of the scoreboard after Iowa State had driven into Texas territory for the fourth time in the first half. Gideon and Vaccaro sacked ISU’s Jantz on third and fourth downs, respectively, to end the Cyclones’ final threat of the half.

Iowa State’s White put the Cyclones on the scoreboard with a two-yard touchdown run with 11:33 remaining in the game to cut the Texas lead to 34-7. Texas’ Tucker added a 29-yard field goal with 6:31 left in the game to push the UT lead to 37-7. Iowa State tacked on the game’s final score with 3:50 remaining when Jantz found Chris Young for an 18-yard touchdown.


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